Daily accelerometer-measured physical activity patterns and associations with cardiometabolic health among Canadian working adults

Publication type
Journal article
Biswas A, Chen C, Prince SA, Smith PM, Mustard C
Date published
2023 Mar 01
Health Reports
Open Access?

Background Previous studies examining the cardiometabolic risks associated with physical activity (PA) in workers have predominantly used self-reported measures. Little is known about workers' distinct daily PA patterns and whether these are linked with cardiometabolic risks. This study examined associations between patterns of workers' accelerometer-measured daily PA and four markers of cardiometabolic health. Data and methods Working adults (N=8,229; 47% women; average age: 42 years; standard deviation = 0.3) were sampled from the Canadian Health Measures Survey (five cycles: 2007 to 2017). Accelerometer devices measured daily PA, and hierarchical cluster analysis identified distinct activity patterns. Multiple linear regression analyses examined associations between activity patterns and cardiometabolic risk markers (waist circumference, systolic and diastolic blood pressure, and non-high-density lipoprotein [HDL] cholesterol). Results Workers were classified into six distinct activity patterns. On average, compared with workers classified in the "lowest activity" pattern, workers with the "moderate consistent activity," "fluctuating moderate activity," "high daytime activity" and "highest activity" patterns were associated with lower waist circumferences; workers with the "fluctuating moderate activity" and "highest activity" patterns were associated with lower systolic blood pressure; the "moderate evening activity" pattern was associated lower diastolic blood pressure; and workers with the "fluctuating moderate activity," "high daytime activity" and "highest activity" patterns were associated with lower non-HDL cholesterol. "High daytime activity" was associated with lower waist circumference in women, compared with men, and the "moderate consistent activity" and "fluctuating moderate activity" patterns were associated with lower diastolic blood pressure in younger workers (40 years or younger). Interpretation Workers with high daily PA levels tended to have the most optimal cardiometabolic health. Some evidence suggested that there are benefits to moderate levels of PA, particularly for lowering waist circumference and non-HDL cholesterol. Findings may assist in identifying workers for PA initiatives to promote cardiometabolic health benefits.